Flying Safety Is No Accident

Sep 14, 2013 2 Comments by

Every helicopter comes with a warning that this is not a toy. That it can cause serious injury, or even death. Unfortunately this is exactly what happened a few months ago when a helicopter went out of control and struck the pilot. I don’t know the exact circumstances of this tragic accident,. but helicopter design and electronic reliability have greatly improved over the years, and our improved flying skills have lead to maneuvers never before thought possible, leading us to become too complacent when flying.

However, there are also certain precautions we can take to enhance our safety. These include flying with the sun to your back, or wearing a hat and sunglasses to block being blinded by the sun. Also, when possible, fly with the wind to your back so it will blow the helicopter away from you rather than into you. Overconfidence in your helicopter and your flying skills can lead to a false sense of security. Our helicopters deserve our respect, and we should continue to have a little fear of them, the same as we would respect operating any dangerous piece of machinery. Although we can’t eliminate all the dangers of our hobby, keep a safe distance between you and the helicopter and always be prepared for a mechanical malfunction or a pilot error.

Paul Tradelius, Uncategorized

About the author

A regular contributor to Model Airplane News, he is also the columnist for our “Rotor Speed” helicopter column. Paul has been flying RC helicopters since the early ‘80s and now enjoys all types of rotary machines, including scale and aerobatics, and he continues to experiment with modifications to improve performance.

2 Responses to “Flying Safety Is No Accident”

  1. Dean Kraus says:

    Paul,
    Sadly the truth is ~ Helicopter Pilots when flying 3D ~ Inverted ~ etc, fly too dangerously ~ too Close ~ too wreakless. Hovering several inches off ground~INVERTED is looking for trouble! When I see this ~ I move away ~ far away. Maybe it is time to talk about requiring Hard Hats or some source of helmet?(Like Pylon Racing?) Dean Kraus/JM

  2. Len Todd says:

    I run a couple air shows each year and have attended many. I have seen a couple heli near misses this year alone. It is past time for all of us to take a closer look at heli safety. It takes years of experience to 3D safely. Then about the time the experienced pilot gets safe, complacency can easily set in. Only thing worse on an RC airfield during a fun-fly than a 3D heli is a giant scale plane with a large fuel tank and pilot who will not sit down and take a break.

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